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Download a copy of version 1.1h:
Version 1.1h 8/27/01.
New in version 1.1h:
Through my 10 years of experience in PC and corporate networks, including NetWare and NT-Server, one of the biggest problems I have encountered is keeping the cost of managing Windows 95 workstations under control. This is especially true if you have many offices spread out geographically. Most organizations have found that Microsoft Windows 95 and the applications designed to run on this client platform are easier for the end user to learn and use. In addition once the end user develops these skills on one Microsoft Windows application they are to a certain extent transferable to other applications even among different vendors. Because of this and other features like OLE 2 and simple cut and paste between applications many IS organizations have or are converting their PC client bases to Microsoft Windows 95. Unfortunately what most IS departments have found is that although Microsoft Windows may be easier to use at the end user level, the level of complexity on the back end install/maintenance has actually increased by several times. Most Win95 installations are on the workstation, and once installed the administrator loses control over the desktop.
Over the years I have developed many home grown proprietary push agents for the clients I have consulted to using DOS batch files etc. There are also a few high-end solutions that are as expensive to purchase as they are to administer. Finally, I decided to develop my own Push Agent, the Network Push Agent ™, based on my years of industry experience. What the push agent does is simply display the same icons on the desktop each time the user logs into the network, regardless of whether they have added or deleted any icons during their previous session. When the help desk gets a call like, "My Netscape icon is gone", they simply have the user close all programs and log in instead of dispatching a workstation technician. This of course saves money at corporate headquarters, but in small geographically dispersed field offices it's a lifesaver. Additionally the Network Push Agent™ allows you to create your own custom push setups for applications and data files. The system is written as a full 32 bit Windows application.
The Network Push Agent ™ has two primary functions. It helps lock the end user desktops, and/or allows you to create a push for any file or application that you need to update on the workstation. It provides a cost effective, vendor independent (works on NT Server and Novell NetWare), and extremely easy solution to the issue of controlling end user Windows 95 desktops, and distributing software to large numbers of networked PC's.
It locks the desktop and Start Menu icons by recording them for each user and placing them on the workstation with each login to the network. Combined with Microsoft's System Policy Editor it can dramatically cut down on help desk calls, by cutting down on the common ways that end users "shoot themselves in the foot". If a user adds an application such as a game or deletes their MS-Word icon a simple close all programs and log on as a different user will restore the desktop to the user's default. The push agent is also an excellent way to allow users to move from one workstation to another within the office. Because once the application icons are recorded the user is presented with their same default desktop on every workstation running the Network Push Agent ™. The best part is you can select the level of "lock down" depending on your environment.
Additionally you can configure the push agent to compare a file on the network to one on the server and update it if the one on the server is newer. This native feature allows you to update frequently upgraded in house applications, or daily updates of data files, such as interest rates. The Network Push Agent ™ is a fully push enabled application in it's own right. What this means is that when a new version comes out, simply installing it to the network will cause it to automatically be pushed to all of your workstations. This is handy when your shareware version is expiring, or you purchase a licensed version.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Question. Can I use the Network Push Agent ™ to just automatically update applications and files on networked PC's and not to control their desktops?
Answer. Yes, the two functions are not at all interdependent.
Question. I downloaded the Network Push Agent ™ and it is really slow. It takes about 30 seconds to run. Why is it so slow?
Answer. Download version 1.0 it's 65% to 300% faster then the beta versions.
Question. How much will the push agent cost when it is available commercially?
Answer. $14.95 per workstation with a minimum purchase of 25 workstation licenses.
Latest beta version:
No beta version for download.